— Published 5 May 2021

Nine Governors Opposed to Hosting the Games

Tokyo 2020

In Japan, polls about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics follow one another. But the results show the same mistrust towards the Olympic and Paralympic event. The last survey, carried out by the daily Mainichi Shimbun, reveals that 9 of the 47 prefectural governors of the peninsula believe that the Games should be cancelled or postponed. A minority, but three of the nine prefectures opposed to the event – Saitama, Shizuoka and Yamanashi – host competition sites. Saitama Governor Motohiro Ono explained, “We provide the largest number of venues after Tokyo. While doing our best to prepare a safe and secure event, we must keep an eye on the situation and make a decision calmly.” His prefecture is to host the golf, basketball, shooting and soccer events. The governor of Shizuoka, Heita Kawakatsu, where some of the cycling events are to be held, has the same concerns: “If the infections continue to spread and it becomes clear to everyone that the Games cannot be held, we will have no choice but to cancel or postpone the event.” As for Shinji Hirai, governor of the Tottori prefecture, where the infection rate is the second lowest in Japan, he believes that “promoting world peace through sport is important, but the priority is that all nations cooperate and control this pandemic.”